Business

Google Night Sight now available for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, we test it out

Google is finally rolling out the Night Sight feature to the new Google Pixel devices. The feature is currently being rolled out through the Camera app update on the Play Store for the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL.

Night Sight is a new feature on the 2018 Pixel phones that improves low light performance. The implementation is similar to the Night mode on recent Huawei flagship phones.

Night Sight works by taking multiple long exposure shots and stacking them together. The camera detects hand motion and automatically adjusts the duration of the shutter speed and corrects for it while stacking. If it detects the camera is handheld, the Night Sight duration is shorter but if you were to mount the phone on a tripod, the phone will allow for much longer exposures to reduce noise. Either way, Night Sight takes a bit longer than standard photos to capture, but the results are worth it.



Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight off
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight on


Pixel 3 XL camera samples: regular vs Night Sight

Compared to standard photos, Night Sight shots have significantly better exposure but without the typical high ISO noise that we would normally expect. Google also does extensive tone-mapping, which makes the images pop a bit more and gives it that Pixel look. It’s not quite night vision, and the technology has its limitations, but it still greatly improves the low light shooting experience.


Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight off
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight on
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight off
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight on

Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Regular Night Sight Regular Night Sight

Currently, Night Sight works best on stationary subject, the camera itself needs to be kept fairly still. Best results are obtained by mounting the phone on a tripod, at which point the phone will take the maximum number of shots and long exposures to get the best possible image. If you are into night photography or just want to take some pictures in the dark, such as in a dimly lit restaurant or monuments at night, this feature will make a big difference.


Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight off
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight on
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight off
Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Night Sight on

Pixel 3 XL camera samples: Regular Night Sight Regular Night Sight